Is it permissible to discharge zakaah by paying off a person’s debt? So in other words, the actual recipient will not become the owner of the zakaah, neither will they know that their debt is being settled.
I am concerned that if the monies are given directly to the person eligible for zakaah, they will use it for other extravagances. The person has been in debt for years now.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuh.
If a legitimate recipient of Zakaat is in debt and there is a fear of him not discharging his debt after receiving the Zakaat, the person discharging his Zakaat should seek permission from the recipient of Zakaat to make him his representative to discharge the debt of his behalf.  <file:///C:\Users\ibnbassa\Desktop\Jamiat%20Approved%20Answers\Fatwa%20244%20-%20Zakaat%20to%20obsolve%20debt.docx#_ftn1>
In this way, the person discharging his Zakaat will discharge his Zakaat and pay the debt.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.